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How Marketing and Nonpofit Work are Connected

When I first joined the Spruce Foundation as a Philly young professional, I was a little nervous – I had never worked for a non-profit before. I had no idea how non-profits or foundations worked. Sure, Spruce is an all volunteer organization, but being on the board can be like a second job. I assumed I would enter totally clueless. I soon learned that there are many connections between what Spruce does and my experience – one of the many reasons we encourage Philadelphia young professionals from all sectors – finance, retail, law, and hospitality industries – to join our board. You’ll be able to find a connection from your experience to the work the Spruce board offers. Below you’ll find a few key ways I made the connection from my marketing career to non-profit work. 

  1. Branding is essential – and touches every aspect of non-profit work. Every Facebook and Instagram post, email, fundraiser, event, and even back-end process plays a role in a brand in some way, even for non-profits. A brand isn’t just outward appearance and marketing. It’s tied to the very fabric and culture of an organization. Being aware and protecting our brand has enabled Spruce to create a brand that aligns with our values. It has also started meaningful conversations about strategy and the future of our organization. 
  2. Marketing is full of project management. Non-profits, like all organizations, need project management. Internal connection between teams is absolutely essential, especially for an all-volunteer group like Spruce. If we’re communicating through email and Slack 75% of the time, staying connected and being detail-oriented ensures we don’t miss anything. 
  3. The best marketing is a group of engaged and happy board members or volunteers. While branding and process is really important, if your volunteers aren’t organically engaged and passionate about the organization, then the perfect marketing campaign won’t work. Keeping people happy go back to the first two points: people want to be part of an organization that has a strong culture. They also want to be engaged and busy in a meaningful way.